The demand for shared data plans is set to rise from a few million today to 250m by 2015, according to a new whitepaper from market research firm Infonetics.
The report, called All in the Family: The New Requirements of Shared Data Plans, argues that data plans shared among multiple devices or multiple users can help drive device adoption, improve subscriber loyalty, and encourage the uptake of new services.
“Customers are showing a clear appetite for expanding the range of devices owned, but they dont necessarily want a separate data plan for each device,” says Richard Webb, co-author of the paper and directing analyst for microwave and small cells at Infonetics. “Having a single data plan that shares a data allowance across devices provides the user with usage flexibility, as well as bill clarity, and we believe that these shared data plans will be a significant factor in mobile broadband device growth over the next few years.”
However, the report says that many operators will have to assess the capabilities of their infrastructure to support such product offerings.
“While it has become clear to operators that they need to move away from unprofitable all-you-can-eat models for data pricing, many of the new and innovative service models theyre considering, including shared data plans, necessitate some significant changes within the control plane, which will drive investment in solutions like policy management, subscriber data management, and diameter signaling,” says Shira Levine, directing analyst for next-gen operating systems and policy at Infonetics and co-author of the whitepaper.
You can download the full report here.